St Marys cement does about-face on water testing, US

St Marys cement does about-face on water testing, US
Published: 04 January 2010

St Marys Cement, Canada, is doing a sharp about-face on the controversial issue of water testing for its proposed limestone quarry northeast of Carlisle. In a surprise announcement, the company now says it will do pumping tests aimed at proving the feasibility of its its scheme to keep the 10-storey-deep pit dry without affecting area wells, wetlands and streams.

Last January, after the Ministry of the Environment rejected results of a preliminary test, St. Marys refused to repeat it, saying it was confident it could win a quarry licence from the Ministry of Natural Resources, then apply for an Environment Ministry water-taking permit to operate the quarry.

Reversing that position, St. Marys vice-president John Moroz now says the company plans a new testing program next year to “demonstrate the effectiveness of its proposed groundwater recharge system and to ensure that we provide stakeholders with the technical information that will help to make an informed decision about our application.”

St. Marys will now need a permit from the Environment Ministry to conduct the tests. It says it will outline its plan early in the new year.